Sunday, July 06, 2008
There was a while back in the day when I used to keep record-store receipts inside CD cases, a fascinating practice that I think I'll try to keep in mind for the future.
I was going through some CDs to import last night and found another one: Zia Records, 03-03-2000: Tom Waits - Mule Variations; Medeski, Martin & Wood - Combustication; and Superchunk - Indoor Living. They were all used, at $7.99 apiece. Not too bad at all.
What strikes me most is the fact that I was able to string together three so disparate albums in one purchase. Those were the days when I was walking into Zia practically every week, with a well-prepared list, often looking for certain albums time and time and time again until I could find them used. So it's not exactly a surprise that a modern funk/jazz album, a 3-year-old indie-punk triumph and a new masterpiece from the legendary Tom Waits ended up on the same receipt, but I haven't come across another one yet that's similarly eclectic.
I've written more than enough about Tom Waits lately, but I haven't touched on either of the other bands.
Indoor Living was the album Superchunk was touring on when I saw them at Hollywood Alley in Mesa in 1997. So I'm kind of surprised to look back and discover I didn't get that record for nearly three years. Sure, I'd heard it from Mr. Suit, who turned me on to the band and plenty of others, and also drove to the show. And I had several others. So my Indoor Living was a bit behind the curve, but I ate that album up. "Burn Last Sunday" in particular still resonates, with the opening lines: "Another season crashes to and end / The branches you thought you'd break, they just bend." That still sums up much of college for me: big plans end up falling to substantially less in return.
Medeski, Martin & Wood was definitely out of my comfort zone in those days, as I'm sure it was for so many of the jam-band type bands they lured in. But they had really solid grooves and an amazingly versatile style. Add in the turntable work and Combustication was a truly unique record that hit somewhere in between jazz, funk, hip-hop and the jam circuit, a strange little Venn alcove that they alone inhabit.
I'll turn out some more of these posts as I stumble onto more Zia receipts stuffed into CD cases.
Tom Waits - Hold On
Medeski, Martin & Wood - Just Like I Pictured It
Superchunk - Burn Last Sunday
Tom Waits - Storytellers Live 1999
Tom Waits - Live at Lee Furr's Studio, Tucson 1975